Telesurgery: Translation Technology to Clinical Practice
The ability to extend the physical reach of a surgeon to treat a patient surgically in another locality was one of the many promises which came with the introduction of Robotic and Computer Assisted Technology into the field of surgery in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, it was the possibility of using a robot as surgeons’ hands and eyes at a distance which led to some of the major grants from DARPA, NASA and NIH for the development of the prototypes of the da Vinci and the Zeus Systems which revolutionized the practice of Robotic and Computer Assisted Surgery in the late 1990s.
The primary incentive of these agencies for making such investments was to develop a system to allow them to provide emergency surgical care to the remote operatives. Others saw parallel uses in enhancing quality of surgical care which can be provided to settlements in remote parts of the world or at times of major disasters. And yet another use of telesurgery was an application for practical knowledge translation and a means for an expert surgeon to effectively achieve tele-presence during telementoring of another surgeon with acquisition of new surgical skills. The ability for two surgeons to collaborate across distances during a surgical act was seen as the ultimate achievement in knowledge translation in surgery.
It was these promises which sparked the efforts of many surgeons, engineers, and inventors who dedicated a significant portion of their lives into enhancing the field of Robotic Telesurgery.
KeywordsRobotic System Knowledge Translation Packet Loss Ratio Surgical Task Robotic Surgical System
The author would like to acknowledge Karen Barlow for her assistance with preparation of the manuscript.
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